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Waiora: A new way to monitor water

A groundbreaking interactive water pollutant monitoring system has been launched in New Zealand, with the Māori sector in particular expected to benefit.

A groundbreaking interactive water pollutant monitoring system has been launched in New Zealand, with the Māori sector in particular expected to benefit.

Tuia Group has confirmed an exclusive agreement to licence Waiora Earth Monitoring Software, which claims to be the world's first real-time, web-based system that allows users to monitor and analyse the dispersion of pollutants.

Based on the concept that a picture is worth a thousand words, Waiora uses real-time environmental data and converts it into output based on what is actually happening, generating two and three-dimensional images or aquifer storage levels which are easy for anyone to understand.

It was created by Auckland-based Trifecta Global Infrastructure Solutions, which says the technology has proved itself in US Environmental Protection Agency trials.

“Environmental monitoring and compliance is going to be a key driver globally in the coming years," says Trifecta founder and chief executive Clark Easter.

While the software will be a valuable tool for local governments, councils, industry and researchers, it is Māori and local iwi who have expressed the greatest interest.

Mike Taitoko, director of Tuia—which offers governance, economic development and legal advice—says the agreement gives Māori a stronger voice in the management and sustainability of New Zealand’s natural water assets.

“Recent natural disasters, intensified farming, water shortages and declining water quality have drawn attention to the widespread contamination of our freshwater resources.

“Through kaitiakitanga [guardianship], Māori have a unique part to play in the management of our rivers, lakes, streams and aquifers. Waiora gives Māori the opportunity to take a leadership role in freshwater management by combining new ideas and technologies with the traditional concepts of guardianship and preservation,” Taitoko says.

“The technology is exciting as it allows scientists and non-scientists to collaborate around a common platform, using actual information."